tv Daina Ramey Berry Discusses The Price for Their Pound of Flesh CSPAN February 19, 2017 9:15am-10:24am EST
the senators on both sides are so sophisticated that they talk about the catalan conspiracy and ways that you'd never expect to hear a senator speaks today. [inaudible conversations] >> hello. hi, everybody. is everybody ready to get started? wow, there's so many of you guys thank you all for being here tonight. welcome to the people. we love being able to put events like this. we deliver 300 year and you guys keep coming back support your local independent bookstores. please continue to do that as
much as you can. you might notice that with lots of cameras down. that is exciting. because of that, when we take questions and answers, if you will please raise your hand at the question and wait until one of us comes around with a microphone. i know everybody but questions, but give it a second. we will hear you and not have to repeat questions. please feel free to take pictures and please don't have any flash on. that's distracting. would love to see your pictures as well where we have social media. if you want to attack us on if a program, facebook, twitter, we would love your perspective. if you would also please answer his cell phone so that we don't have any distractions or interruptions. a lot of people have bought the book. we are getting more and. they are available after she speaks. if you purchase the book before you get assigned, we would love you to do that.
afterwards, if you let us get her settled over here at the table and the lineup and go around the stairs over to my right and we'll go around the staircase so we don't block the stairs or anything and we look at that go in as well. if you would like your personalized from her, will come around a sticky note feature name in there. even if you know the author, and do that to streamline the process. we look at that time. and so tonight, we are very, very excited. we have trained for, with her book "the price for their pound of flesh" [applause] >> thank you for coming out. i want to thank you for allowing me to do this reading and thank you particular friday evening to join us. i would start by reading a few passages from the book, talking
about the process, reading a few more. i would like to open up the floor for question and answer from you all if you have questions about the book where the writing process or anything like that. you will understand some of this, but i will begin with the introduction. many 50 will have not seen the golf this year. these are the words to join its banks who was born into slavery, sold three times, escape twice and ultimately reached freedom. his early years were pleasant, compared to those as he matured into adulthood. and this narrative, we learn many things about the value of the enslaved and the way traders and medical doctors traffic human shadow from birth to death and beyond.
on a virginia plantation with 16 siblings. his mother served as a coat, his father was batman. his. his family was intact. as a young child, is he played with his inflated son alexander who is just year older than he. age five, banks realized he and alex were different when his playmate he can beating him. thanks for that because his father warned him had he not responded, he would suffer the continued beatings. embracing the spirit, banks tracked how many spirit, banks tracked how many whippings for alex and return them blow for blow. even in childhood, they have showed a nascent understanding of the sole value separate from masons laborers. as a process distinctions between himself and his family says, yet another epiphany
appeared set to start or the midfield. during days of voice heard began in the field. they served as a turning point in its understanding of the reality of his condition. mr. environment can cause there's the elite into the world of work. and views and ultimately understood their place in the world. it solidified his understanding, especially during three pivotal event of youth and early adulthood. the second is the nearly fatal another's mother and a third, this ode to a business labor. at the latter, banks remarked, i saw him in life and i saw him in death, but he left me in chains. the adults do very well that
there is laborers off a mask of breaking a period the action box in the summer of 1857, yet a message message for his potential buyers. he tried to look for running away. i gave benefited that they had a man to deal with. and i determined now to let them see that they would have to treat me -- how they would have to treat it as a prisoner. during interviews of potential buyers, banks are made by not revealing any of the nation about his health or his skills because he knew it would affect monetary value placed upon him. despite the staffers, he recalled being purchased that day for $1200. skip over to another section. exploring the ways in slave people recalled and responded to
their monetary value throughout the course of their life is the primary thrust of this book. in particular, i enslaved and occasionally free blacks valued along with the individuals who added test of interest throughout their lives upon the death and even after death. the incident relationship between a slave for human properties showed just how the active trading commodity touched can save people's birth, my and after lives. binks narrative also describes experience as a fugitive in a kentucky prison and his thoughts about death. and kentucky in october 1857, he remained incarcerated for 10 months and two days. the jail was more like a place of punishment in the place of detention.
as authority spent much of the time trying to extract answers to the prisoners, banks found it ironic that the jailers believed that the worse they retreated, the more likely they should be to tell where we came from. he and his fellow captive shared a code of secrecy vowing to not tell their real names or their place of abode. if they did, we might just as well turn and go back home ourselves and save the monster's expense. just like slavery, prison life was a trapeze. during his time in jail, physicians came to treat the sick. the sabres came in response to notice isn't to let them convicted of murder was subjugated to another crime. i'll subjugated to the dual captivity and it's a prisoner, banks have encountered that emaciated man who was assigned to share himself. the man was there her death.
interested in him and wanted to know his story, the doctor who treated and develop a rapport with them and discovered that he suffered from tuberculosis and needed care. the two talked often in the sick man made a mistake by trusting the physician. he described as very kind of found out where the men came from as well as his name in his and flavor. he promised the sick man he would purchase him and care for him. shortly after, the labor came to the jail to claim his property. the doctor had informed him the sick man would not survive the journey back to his home's day, but he did not care about the value of his life. he would rather take him dead as a caution to other slaves than not at him at all. witnessing this exchange, banks that serve this was the case that showed up with witty spirit
of revenge the owners pursued the slaves would face. with the malicious gratification , here is a man offered more than the poor skeleton of the slave is worth, but the malicious gratification of getting him home dead or alive was so sweet that he would not be the price of his pound of flesh. with that, the sick man and mrs. flavor leaving a deep impression on banks and understanding of himself as human property. if labor had refused to sell a nearly dead man to a physician who is willing to pay for his pound of flesh above the market value, preferring to make an example of him and asserting that dead or alive he had use for this man's enslaved body. but love is a physician's interest in this man? how do you have city before him or did he have an ulterior motive? doctors just like winters found
ways to use in live bodies at all stages of power. they too had a price tag for the dead. in slave people represented an exchangeable commodity in the active traders and doctors. by exploring the web of relations among this group of people, we find the financial value touched every facet of their lives. banks modified the shakespearean phrase the price for his pound of flesh from the events of venice further emphasizing the knowledge base of enslaved people. their awareness and intellect have always been present in historical record but few scholars have asked what his view play pink? much of the existing literature is let people experience. if we attempt in the engaged understanding, this narrative changes. in slave people like jordan banks have very particular ideas about their values, ideas from
their slavery. looking at their views of modification chips the way we interpret lavery and us to understand social and cultural system they continue to devalue life today such as mass incarceration, athletes and performers. a new economic history of american slavery, this incorporates those traded on the auction block along with the valuation of their captivity. in late people speak back through their words and actions. they reach out at these pages and invite the reader to hear their stories, to see them as human beings and to understand them as commodities, just as they did. enslaved people of all ages recognized the value ascribed to their bodies and the great philosopher, their values were self-actualized. we began this journey before
conception because even if they people hide a monetary value. i'm going to skip forward a little bit more. in slave people were valued in life and death. but because they were people and property, multiple sets of values encompass them and replaced on their bodies. i want to find way of type about value because i'm looking at both internal and external values. going to talk about the values they share throughout the book. value is used as a noun, verb gadget to. it is passive, date, subject to that reflective. it is rooted in time for valuing and requires an assessment of feeling. the first values signified and in terminal quality. i call this the universal value.
as an intangible marker that often defied monetization get who they were as human beings. they represented the self-worth of enslaved people. for some, this meant no monetary value could allow them to comply with slavery. others we can do that meant negotiated bubbles of modification to survive their experience. still, others were socially dead. while the value of the soul should not be located by the value of the soul should not be located on a spec drawn, the book discusses the full value seeking to uncover what the plate made of the situation. conceptions of self and spaces that tonight it as opposed to the flesh and blood value ascribed to their bodies. i demand recognition of the self-actualized value of their
soul. the second form of valuation signifies an external assessments rooted in appraisals which were projected values that planters, doctors, traders and others attributed to enslaved people based on potential work output. the third value also represents the market value in terms of the sale price for human flesh negotiated in the competitive market. it often marked the highest price paid as commodities. exploring these forms of valuation at once, so appraisal at market allows us to consider enslaved people as human beings in tradable goods without divorcing one from the other. enslaved people had a forced external value. one can start it at and beyond death. ghost value is my term for the price tag to enslaved bodies and
postmortem legal confiscation or if they circulated through what i call the domestic cadaver tree. went than enslaved person died, whether buried or not, they were given a ghost value. some were then sold or transported for dale to medical schools throughout the united states. values also assign for legal purposes as indicated a state-sponsored act petition and personal insurance be. in other words, sent enslaved people values were calculated regularly, it's easy to determine the value of their bodies at death. if they were good look at his or her most and inventory insurance policy to find out how much one of his or hers made laborers was worth. ghost values are also evident in the records of plantation owners who appraise their last wills and testaments.
legal disputes over hiring contracts resulted in the loss of his late wife gave courts the right to value deceased human shadow to settle cases. while not all of that enslaved people were sold, not that people were sold. many people were free blacks and poor and marginalized ways. the enslaved body although no longer enslaved was also traded and sold and used after death. that is sort of the framing of the value system we try to explore. i did 10 years of research through archives throughout the united state, both in the north of us out to come up with values and find where enslaved people talk about how they felt and what they believed in and other forms. i want to say something now and
read a small section on where they introduce all values again. they don't necessarily know about the full value, but they start to become aware. this is a chapter on other lessons between the ages of 10 -- 11 and 23 when they are starting to recognize you. pubescent years were terrifying. this was also a time when the slave children at is the separation all of their life. as the external value of their body increase. it now makes sense and haunted them for the rest of their lives. at this stage, they know full well that others ownership at any age.
the parents of president reminded them of the value that it favors in traders could not modify it. old value in such valuation. often escape calculation that developed during these years. the sole values were reinforced. sometimes the internal value was a spirit, a voice of premonition as an ancestor or a god. it came in public and private setting and was occasionally described as a personal message from a higher being or heaviness in their soul in the core of their being. my soul began singing one of the person recall it and i was told i was one of the elected children.
this talented, uplifting fearful thrill of things unknown but long for still made the enslaved feel free during captivity. freedom of the soul recharging. soul values which came from deep within a person's heart were often sought on childhood, yet not fully articulated until their early teens. retrieving the social and economic surfers chances under which is that people suffered make indicated conclusions regarding slave tonight so i sent internalized value. unlike appraisal and sale value, these came from within. outsiders did not buy for them. such values are shaped and defined in people's errors. from the time i was a little boy , it always grab my feelings to know that i had to work for another man. they were not encouraged by
medicare and it instead, they came from within the end through the years. as he aged, walker had the fortunate opportunity to learn to read and write but the big arithmetic. he could add up numbers, multiply and divide quickly and was good at fractions. these skills have inherit your name and belief in the accountable sole value led to walker's successful escape years later. enslave to express their sole by running away. a number of places in the book i talk about running away. i want to clarify that because i'm not just guessing everybody made to freedom. these are exceptional cases that made its newspapers, archives. pieces that made it into books.
i can't say that they are representative, but it is a space where you can understand how it went people are feeling. i don't want to suggest that those escape has accessible escape attempts, but a lot of the ones i have on the book were successful in making it to canada. two other sentences that they too read before i opened to question-and-answer period when is my favorite tori of a gentleman by the name of isaac. this is from chapter five and it's the last chapter i wrote although the book has six chapters. he was the one that i think i was on fire. i wrote the whole chapter in three or four hours, which i've never done. i give it to the editor and parents and friends of mass people to read it. we don't have any changes. there was something about this because i had dirty framed the entire manuscript.
this is a little bit of a bummer section, but i will wrap up with the two quote and we will talk about the book. isaac is an elderly enslaved men. sole value and burial. when 40 plus old isaac took the stand, and people marveled over his muscular imac physique. south carolina residents saw him as the very man for a motto because of the curve of his muscles of the great strength you possess. his intellect and he was respected as much as an enslaved man and the institution that sought to destroy such an individual. isaac was different. he was richly gifted with a clearheadedness and noble men so well. his character garnered respect from the slave of the free.
isaac was the leader. dangerfield newby, john copeland and john brown, he too tried to overturn the system of slavery decades earlier. when isaac took the stand, he was not on the auction block. he was on the witness stand on trial for his life. or, he faced a jury not of his peers, but in the late rupert enslavers of the men who question him about planning to later with elegant on july 4th at 1816. sort of an ironic date. isaac had a sole value and all who interacted with him. this internal self constructed value manifested itself as resolved in belief and freedom. those around him may not recognize it because they were defected by the value. we learn of isaac to the memory of a witness to his trial. this is just an example of what
they get the sources from. the memory of a witness trial and execution, and then at the name of john c. vaughn shared this narrative. a newspaper editor throughout south carolina unremembered isaac is a true hero. after being interrogated, he and his comrades had planned for six. isaac was found guilty along with 13 others scheduled to hang as punishment. if you gain respect from his enslave or on the local minister before the discovery of his plan to rebel. he was respected in his community that even quote the severest slave patrol would take his word and let him go if he was ever caught without a written pass required of all enslaved people, even the isaac was in his 40s when he planned the revolt and its physical
prowess. and the moral mental strength they gave him power over those around him. during the trial, as they try to take the blame. i am the man who told the court without any hesitation in his manner. he spoke with confidence and courage and resolve. when asked about the insurrection and testify against others, he refused to know the repeated i am the man. and i am not afraid or ashamed to confess it. again they were shocked at his strength, but no ingenuity, no promise, no threat could force him to reveal a single name. in response to repeated questions come as the told the court you have me in no other -- no one else shall you get if i can prevent it. the only pain i feel is my life alone is not to be taken.
he apparently pointed to the other men on trial and stated it these were safe, i should die triumphantly. he doesn't want them to be killed. he would not implicate any others. they've been administered to to isaac who knew him and that late to meet with him in hopes of encouraging pentagon brass to the additional details. the conversations between the isaac and the sole value on the eve of his death are the two top for four hours that night. when asked to share the details, he spoke to his clergyman and a familiar language. faster, while you are first taught me religion, or maybe know that my jesus suffered and died in truth. will you tell me to betray the confidence and trust in me and the sacrifice others' lives because my life is forfeited? as a canny sense of his obligation to his fellow man.
she was aware his action would be to death but he values the confidence, his comrades instilled in him. this valuation of his soul was a model for his peers. he died himself enough to sacrifice his life to protect fellow comrades. isaac continued, can you persuade me as a persuade me that they suffer in strangler for freedom to turn traitor to the very man who worked to help me. according to the minister, isaac spoke in a calm voice with the nonthreatening demeanor and expressed greatness of his soul. the minister could not proceed with questioning and acknowledged his own sin stating for the first time in my ministerial life, i had a mean face at and felt myself a criminal. after a long silence some of the minister tried one more time to encourage isaac to consider
ramification had he succeeded in leading a rebellion. he tried to get them to think about the bloodshed, the last lost a mother he was capable of killing his enslave or our minister. to this isaac responded. i love you and yours. i would die to bless you anytime. you taught me god was a god of lack as well as weight, that he was no respect or persons. he reminded the minister of god's commandment in matthew. love by lord thy god with all your heart and all your mind. this is the first and greatest commandment in the second is like it. love their neighbor as thyself. although law hang on these two commandments. he educated his ministers about the soul demise of enslaved, sharing what was i to have wife and children in bondage. where was quality in the arrangement.
he reminded the minister that he watched others receive an education and earn wages while men could make nothing. after the statement, isaac shared he knew deep in the soul that was no help for his wife, children are raised except if we were free. the minister listened and faced the hypocrisy of the slaveholding brethren in their interpretation of god's commandment. isaac continued, god told me he could only help those who help themselves. isaac preach freedom to his enslave people because they had been betrayed. he looked directly and said i tell you now if we had succeeded, i should have old master of mrs. the new first to show my people i could sacrifice my love is that ordered them to sacrifice their hate. after these chilling words, he pointed to the shackled hand and
said that god told him that he was right. for the second time during the conversation, the minister was overwhelmed and was ashamed of his conduct and humbled by isaac's transparent words. isaac's voice was so convincing that he saw isaac is a hero this process was then streamed by the crime. the minister and the conversation with the prayer holding isaac stand while tears streamed down his face. after they said they meant and squeeze one another's hand, they stood and isaac was moved to tears. master, i shall die in peace he said. the restrained voice and asked the minister to leave his wife and children as you have led me to heaven. there was a large crowd to witness his hanging it just has
to date that turner was time and went to the gallo. the bystanders wanted to witness the execution of someone they considered a rebel. while isaac and six others stood on the platform committee turned with the noose around his neck and said the banned and die like men. then he asked them to watch his example and follow his brothers leave after his death. his brother to stood on the platform that they been according to witnesses, isaac is intently upon the crowd. some believe he was searching for his family. he said goodbye to his brother and the other men. but before the officer could pour the lover, he faces brother is dead all die a free man. he sprung up as high as the code and fell heavily on the knotted rope which checked his fall. his body composed in the plank on which he had stood. isaac had jumped to his death on his own terms.
not because the force out from under him. his brother witnessed the brave act. but if i like him and the other six jumped to his death justice isaac had. their bodies hung in the air about 30 minutes before being cut down. isaac and his brother and five others were then cough integrated away to their burial place. we know their bodies were laid to rest in an out-of-the-way field but isaac and his comrades did not die in vain if they had a resting place, a spot to mark their presence in the world and a place to be remembered by those who loved them. after their bodies were placed in the ground, isaac's wife and children waited for authorities to leap before approaching the grave of their beloved. no one but god knew how long the widow's one with their emotions were. the next morning, a rough state was not driven into the null] is
the clay. a week later on sunday his wife placed a pile of stones with an upright memorial at the head of his grave. the site was kept clean. we free and adorned with the wild rose into the day his wife joined him. so that is my isaac story. i want to say that i think he really expressed as what i'm trying to get at in terms of the soul value. i'm going to summarize because i want to give time for q&a. the other contribution that i think the book or hope the book has is a discussion of the domestic cadaver tree. this is a trafficking of dead bodies. i traced medical school record, and anatomy professors involved in this traffic. they wrote letters back and forth looking for a dead bodies of enslaved people were observing them from graves.
one of the pivotal quotes that i have is a quote from one medical doctor to the other thing tell me how much it costs for a dead different words. do tell me what the cost of the dead he continued. one double cut out and doesn't smell strong enough to be known a mile off. i traced this traffic and i look at the ways in which even after death enslaved people were commodified. so the two final closing the kind of helped me push through this book. that is a quote from elizabeth hackley who some of you may know with these wave c. stress to martha jefferson. she says here when she talks about her death was like. at the grave at least we shall be permitted to bear burdens down the new world, a world of
greatness may open to us. the light to guide us here should go into a flood of affluence beyond the dark mysterious shadows of death. i thought that was a powerful way to think about how enslaved people look at their afterlife. finally, i shared this when i was here a few weeks ago. asleep named ngo wrote a poem on a gel cell wall to his wife after they had been separated. he said to her, and dear wife, they cannot fill the roads of love within my bosom glows. remember as your tears may start, they cannot pay a mortal heart. thank you. [applause] i'm happy to answer questions. we have about 20 minutes.
>> slavery was such a big business. have you found in the textbooks or manuals for slave masters. not talking about and why also have there been little to no known slave narratives out of the latin countries and muslim world? >> good question. we do have some narratives are must owns slaves. interviews taken of those involved in the slave trade and both my goal -- michael gomez writes about this. they write about african muslims and we do have a few narratives that talk about their experience with the slave trade. we also have evidence of his life must run in people who use
islam in coastal georgia in a book called drums in shadows and there's a number of narratives do not vote in a number of those people is not vote for islamic enslaved people. so we do have that. but she's not as numerous. the larger collection comes from the narratives that were taken in the 1930s. those are interviews federally sanctioned but they went around to different parts of the south arabi at the last living descendent of slaves. the majority of individuals are christian, but we do have some narratives of people that participate in islamic faith. >> to pilot this question, if you have ever heard the nation in brazil. it was the nation that lasted for eight or 10 years.
[inaudible] who is recognized within the army whatever. >> absolutely. she is referring -- >> south america with south america with the nation lasted for almost 10 years. >> many glad a large-scale rebellion and negotiated and had a treaty with the british to stay and live in isolation. referring to runaway slave communities where people escape slavery and lived in isolation. i would argue we have the same communities here and wrote about this in a book about runaway slaves in the united states. there's more work to be done. particularly how he defines these communities, the dismal swamps and ran away and lived in isolation. in communities is yours in
isolation and we know there's a few places on south carolina and georgia where this occurred. there are places where they stayed in isolation and were able to say their number of years. >> thank you for this wonderful narrative. he made a statement that the value, the soul value can be expressed by those who try to run away. i was wondering if you could elaborate on that a little bit more. the implication that those, only those who had a high soul value are the ones that tried its >> no, that's a good question. the reason why those ran away and they taught about some of them made it to canada and
people in options they would have prime hands, a1, first rate. one person who made it to canada said i'll show you a first rate is. it is living in a house on my own. planting my own and living with my family. that is just an expression to me. soul value is clinging onto ways to survive slavery. a lot of the scholarship we had in the second these showed african-americans is overly bit demise. they're a bit terms. don't get me wrong. they didn't show as much about them fighting back. i thought to myself, how do you survive 244 years, several generations of individuals had to do something there. i found it in these values. >> i know it's great to be here.
more literate as ones who escaped. i'm really interested in the narratives in the journal. that's an education and and there is every time not to educate them. >> i don't know because some of those are oral narratives that someone wrote for them and publish them. some of them signed them with their mark. so that to me would indicate we are just fortunate to have those that survive however they survived, whether working with an abolitionist group, whether they published their narrative in a newspaper, whether they were recorded orally, so i don't know that there is a strong spectrum between literacy, but if you can live to tell your story, we will have it. the oral tradition is also very rich year.
>> i'd like to know if you include narratives from slaves who ran away. i know there's been some debate about folks in the american indian reservation in the american indian land they were owned by american indians. and on the east african slave trade which is much longer than the slave trade. i've seen more narratives i'm not. third, she was imprisoned. they were trying to give money
reparations for slave for the people enslaved. [inaudible] i just feel it's important that we also give merits about this. >> that is a book by mary frances berry. i didn't write about the slave people in the native american communities because they are doing dissertation on not. without giving away too much averse at it, they were on -- native americans on african-americans. so some of them weren't late by then and were taken along the trail appears as part of the removal and lived in communities such as wage labor. i did not write about those individuals. she's writing about them and there are narratives as well. >> this is a two-part question that it's popular these days. i am wondering in your research
if you came across any sort of modern legal monetary valuations of people's lives of how we value -- how would values people's lives. >> is that modern? >> monetary -- legal monetary. >> are you asking for modern wants? i can't remember the figure, but while i was researching, based into north carolina and the insurance industry has to value in the auto and is a has to value. don't quote me, but i feel like in the obama administration, the value of human life to a motor vehicle accident that sent in that 5.8 million. and people writing and saying i'm worth more than not. i come into this family or what have you.
i think it is interesting that you see that. people always ask me to pay people a bragging rights? do they want high-value or low value? they could care less about their numbers. they just wanted to be sold to remain with family members. they want to do a loved one was traded to. they didn't care the numbers on their bodies if they use that as a way to control or get themselves some space to maneuver slavery. >> my second question. thank you very much. on a more personal level, how you work with valuation in your lies are people that you know, to grow that. >> what you mean? ..
>> i'm curious about was there any general awareness of the posthumous medical slave trade at the time, and wasn't any controversy about in areas where abolitionism was taking root? >> i only found one slave narrative that talked about if it doesn't mean they did know about it because they saw evidence in some of the 19th century newspapers, particularly among the free black community who were afraid of these
bodysnatchers or medical doctors who are going and having their students exhume grays from people and recently died. they would say people were stating the obituaries and so they tried to find ways to lock caskets or have guards at the burial grounds. there was one slave narrative by a man by the name of charlie grant who was asked to go by his owner, asked to go exhume the body of a two-year-old toddler and bring it to him to his office because he is going to ship it off to a dr. johnson in virginia. so that's it we neared i have but i from that narrative that there was some knowledge of this. but most of these cases for me broke in 1880s when united states, various states came up with the anatomy act. because these grave robbers that it been practicing this business for 40, 50 years were caught and so that's when we been created this anatomy legislation. >> i was curious or some other factors potentially may do like
the color of the slave skin that might affect their value i guess? with the slaves have an incentive to hide or make themselves appear even more or less valuable? >> absolutely. i'll answer the second question first. sometimes they do drastic things to make themselves less valuable. there's a story and i think chapter three but what women in the menstrual cycle, some women on this plantation made sure that they were not pregnant. they had 15 or 20, tennessee plantation, 15 or 20 women of childbearing age and the master was surprised that if they were pregnant for years by name. he kept saying you guys are camping with thei yourselves, ig something? are you doing something to your bodies? they said no. finally later on someone confessed they'd eaten cotton root or cotton oil to make themselves miscarry. that's one example. they did not want to be valued for the capacity to bear children. another more extreme example,
people damaging the bodies at the auction. chopping off hands, jumping out of windows trying to commit suicide, jumping over steamboats while they are being traded. don't know how to swim when they would jump into a river. they would try to devalue themselves. the question of color is a question i get often. i always sort of begin by saying our notion of color in some has changed and we're sort of stuck in this moment of the 1970s were people assume that the light skin insulate people were more expensive than the dark skinned and the house laser light skin and a field slaves were dark skin and that's that necessarily the case. they were multiracial, called fancy girls. they were treated as concubines and sex slaves. they were multiracial. those women were priced higher because of their looks, according to peoples judgment.
they were not necessarily sold to work in labor in the house in the field. that's about the only place where i can definitely identify that. >> i first would like to thank you for the research and time you took to bring such things to revelation to the world. not just for the community. so thank you. what is your hope for the book other than awareness? >> well, awareness is the first and primary. i also think there's a lot more research needs to be done. i just touched the tip of the iceberg on this history, particularly the cadaver trade, and i think, i didn't even look at the new york park. i mapped out this trade between south carolina and georgia, as far north as main but i skipped over new york which i think is
probably a hub of this trade and the skipped over the medical doctors in new york that a no windfall because that would have added another two years to write the book. i think that's part of it. also for me i grew up being ashamed of slavery when i was a child. i don't want, i gained strength that i learned from this story in a lot of times people don't want to talk about slavery. they claim that because it's a stain. there are beautiful stories within the institution of slavery, beautiful people that were there the found ways to have joy to laughter come to survive. instead of having this stigmatism of african-americans victims that are socially dead, i wanted to look at some the stories of strength, resilience and survival. that is my other hope for the book. >> thank you. i want to go back to the discussion about the value and
our people harming themselves to change the value but a little different tent. because being a woman i wonder about the fact that we could bear children and, therefore, increase the number of insulate children. so did that in any way affect our value compared to the males of our race? a lot of times we think about me being valued more, but we have definitely from what you presented a different value. i was just wondering how that compared. >> a great question. i actually started when asleep s look at the actual numbers. i have a database that he used for the book individual slave values that's about 55,000 cases. cases. and i started off because i'd
ate plantations in georgia for my first book where women were priced higher than men during their childbearing years. so i wanted to know was at a national trend. so were pregnant mothers more valuable because they are now reportedly this institution. and i thought it was not a national trend. it was just unique to these particular plantations in this one can in georgia. i would argue that's probably because there were a number of female slave owners that owned the plantations, her husband died so they were perhaps a little more sympathetic. i don't really know but these cases with outliers. across the board women were priced lower than men and you'll see that in the beginning of every chapter, i have the average value of every men and women, or boys and girls. in every category except for the fancy girls you do find these other women in the fancy trade that were priced higher. >> did you touch on the valuation of slaves but a disability in this book?
>> isamu did because i do graduate student from michigan state that wrote a dissertation in the book commit next year on this. that was something is a good way for someone to do it. in all my graduate classes i would say this is great research area that no one has touched. i didn't talk about it a whole lot in the book but i will say this. they found ways to use every insulate person, whether they were born with a congenital disability, whether they were given one from the court record from court come disabled slaves as part of their punishment, chopping off the 10 different things. so they wouldn't run away. but the found ways, what my student found is that most of those that some form of disability had institutional memory of that plantation community because it often never left it. they were taken care of by the other members of that community. that the person who is often rarely sold, so they knew much
more about that community, but the owners, but the rhythm of life because they would that constant figure just like the elderly work. i mention them briefly but not a whole lot. i like to let my students do their thing, you know? >> not having read your book, ii wanted to know whether or not you looked into the use of slavery or the institution of slavery as a business model? and they give as an example of the jesuit community the form among other things georgetown university. >> not directly as a business model, but i think a lot of the conclusions in chapter six in particular and chapter four where i talk about these medical schools and how to utilize, they purchased and slave laborers to work as janitors in the school, medical doctors had shared like
17th avenue and enslaved persons body, so seven faculty members would buy this one slave. if they left the university they could share their cell and that persons body. there is some of that there but not in the way we talk about when we look at the georgetown case. but i would say that we are now really at the beginning uncovering so much more about, how slavery was a part of a number of institutions, not just universities and plantations that also municipal governments, courthouses. you fight in slave laborers in a number of those spaces and others as well. >> given the fact a lot of trade between the u.s. and england during that time, although abolitionists were centered you might say in the north, were there businesses that supported the institution of slavery such
as shipbuilders and -- >> shoemakers, clothing. all of that was manufactured in the north and south south. so the north was definitely complicit. there's a scholar whose writing a book about it, but the clothing industry, clothing that insulate person war and the shoes that they wore were made in the north and set down south. so there's a trade, shipping to all that. my book focuses on the domestic slave trade, not the transatlantic. >> my question is little bit more on the morbid side. but you touched on cadavers and doctors, interesting slave bodies. whether explicit buyers of -- worth their explicit buyers of sick and dying slaves? are there any significant medical contributions that you have discovered as a result of these? >> great questions.
pardon me? [inaudible] significant. so the first part of the question was about whether or not they were purchasing sick insulate people. yes, i have advertisements that i write about in the book where they are saying we're looking for people that have these conditions. sometimes in slavers would sell them to medical schools because it wanted to sell them and learn about different kinds of diseases. we also know even non-disease enslaved the bodies were expended on, fondled, particularly, people have heard about since a look that enslaved women did surgery without using any anesthesia. so there's a history of using the bodies for that. in terms of discovery i would say just it's not going to be activity and the record and a certain way but for me i'm looking at an early.
when this is kind of on the eve of racial science. it's before embalming. it's before cremation, and the american medical association was founded in the. i'm writing. so you don't have like organized systematic medicine the way we do today, right? a lot of this was about curiosity. i find it ironic that during slavery, enslaved people are treated as document, or even do we know their human being i would call the enslaved people. once they ge cut them open on a dissection table, medical doctors and her students learn at the inside of the human body was the same. so that i think if it was the skin on the outside. the bodies are the same on the inside. a number of research, and learned a lot about the human body during this time and they were using a number of african-american cadavers. i think i answered your question. >> you had mentioned about -- i
assume it was written a lot in christianity. did you find any documentation or whatnot that perhaps maybe the slaves had another faith that slaveholders did know they were practicing? >> absolutely. i say this in the book, i find soul of outages, you don't have, i do find it among just christian slaves. i find it under nonbelievers as well. they have distance of their soul. soul. believers would probably call that god or allah or another higher power but some of them just said i just knew in my soul. they didn't attributed to a faith. i don't say that it necessarily has to do with someone that believes in god. one more. >> this is making methink of the known world by mr. jones. >> edward jones.
>> and wondering if in your research you came across free displays owning slaves as -- freed slaves -- as, place or where or what? >> the question is about black slaveholders essentially. i didn't write about them here at this particular book. i studied william johnson out of mississippi because he is a black slaveholders who had a journal. he was a barber. it's like 800 pages of everything you did each day. but he didn't talk about enslaved people that much. i didn't find that much evidence in his journal and i didn't read every single page. i was trying to find if i could talk maybe a little about it. there's a book called black masters by rourke and johnson. there's a book, black slaveholders. some of this work has been done already and it wanted to try to go in a little bit different direction. i was hoping i would find more
in the johnson narratives, the johnson books but i didn't find enough i could use that would fit into this argument. [inaudible] >> it wasn't that common. lawrence writes about black slaveholders as well. louisiana had a number of them. what's challenging but talked about black slaveholders is that you had to really study them and understand the context. in some places like the individuals that rourke and johnson write about and south carolina, in parts of the deep and lower south, those black slaveholders were usually the offspring of their owner, former owner, so they were fair skinned and he tried to blend in with white society. one of the ways was trying to own slaves and treat slaves poorly. as you move further north, virginia and other states, some blacks are able to free themselves purchased their family members to live in pursuit of slavery so they could use in freedom -- live in freedom.
you have to study each case to understand the full story of those individuals. you're welcome. thank you. >> what is it that in the united states, now talking about shades of color, you know, like in south america there's no such thing as, people here would be brown and still be black, do you know what i mean? as things that have a drop of whatever, whenever it happened. why did it happen here and didn't happen in other -- >> why did it happen here? >> i wonder if there wasn't a movement for reparation for what was done to these people speak you say why is there not? there is. there absolutely is a movement spirit talking about a movement for reparations for what
happened with the chairman's -- chairman's. this is what happened -- >> it is a movement. depending on how you define success. there's been bills in congress. there are people like tallies store. there's an organization. our number of activists fighting for reparation. they just have not been accepted by our federal government as we are still negotiating how do we talk about slavery. [inaudible] >> it's the racial history of our country. >> thank you. >> thank you so much. [applause]
>> thank you so much. that was really great discussion or i know a lot of you still have questions. you can feel free to ask at the table. before everybody gets up come on corner by just how the sign is going to work. it will be at this table. brenda to my right, wave your hand real high, real high. she will lead everybody around the stir so we can form a very good line. go see her and she will lead to iran. if you don't have the book already whic we should a similar downstairs. please purchase it before you get it signed. put your name on a sticky note if you want it personalized. [inaudible conversations]
the elite framers, were a little bit aghast that so much democracy has led to these paper money laws in the mid-1780s and it wanted to move in the direction of the government that would be more constrained, more independent of popular opinion and actually could shut down these populist forces in the states. madison wanted to get the federal government and absolute veto over any law passed by a state. that turned out to be too extreme for the convention. they did write deprivation article one, section 10 which bars states from adopting paper money laws, our states from passing that relief laws. the idea was a national government with very long terms in office, six-year cinders, four years present. there was nothing analogous to